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Customer Journey

A customer journey is a series of thoughts, interactions, decisions and actions your potential customer goes through to become your happy customer (or not). The customer journey map helps you find weak spots in your marketing and communication, it helps you to create more leads, visits, conversions, sales and repeat orders. Typically you would make a customer journey map in the test phase of your design process.


Topics related to this topic:
In Pitch and Sales we introduce the AIDA sales cycle, which starts which getting attention and creating interest. The customer journey start in a similar way.

Watch short video first:

Case study: Baking Bread

You make or sell bread making machines for home use, I am a potential customer and I will illustrate my journey.

Customer's Step 1: Awareness (AIDA: attention)
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As your customer I need to become aware that I have a need or want. For example; Say I am a very busy person, I shop once a week on Saturday and I buy groceries, including bread for the whole week. Therefore I eat stale bread from Monday to Wednesday, and moulded bread or yoghurt on Thursday and Friday. My need is "I want to eat fresh bread every day (job to be done). So what do I do next? My customer journey starts! I complain about my problem to my friends and on facebook. I try some solutions, like eating crackers, storing bread in the freezer or buying half baked bread and putting that in the oven. I ask around how other people solve this problem and I'm open to receive information about the subject. Finally I started to bake my own bread, the traditional way, in the oven (no special investment necessary). I discover that I really like fresh bread, but I dislike the fuzz of making my own bread.

Questions: 
  • How many thoughts and interactions did I have and how many decisions did I make during this phase?  
  • How can you influence my awareness proces?
  • Could I have had interactions with you?
  • How is my experience during my interaction with you? (happy, satisfied, annoyed, mad)

Customer's Step 2: Discover (AIDA: interest)
So I want daily fresh bread but I don't want fuzz. I have already researched and tried several options:
  1. Eat stale bread
  2. Shop more often
  3. Store bread in freezer
  4. Eat crackers
  5. Buy have baked rolls
  6. Bake my own bread in the oven
  7. Buy a bread baking machine 
Option 1-6 have been tried and deemed unsatisfying, option 7 seems a good idea. I am interested in a bread making machine. I Google away and find five breadmaking machines I might like. I discuss my intentions with friends, I visit consumer pages and read reviews, I compare prices, features and benefits, I visit shops and product demonstrations. At this stage I might have my first customer experience with your organization or product. At the end of this phase I have set my sights on one specific bread making machine and keep a few alternatives in mind.

Questions: 
  • How many thoughts and interactions did I have and how many decisions did I make during this phase?  
  • How can you influence my research proces?
  • How is my interaction with you or your product?
  • How is my experience during my interaction with you? (happy, satisfied, annoyed, mad)
Customer's Step 3: Choose (AIDA: desire)

I zoom in on the product of my choice, I get prices or a quotation, I look for positive feedback that I am making the right choice and I share my intentions with people who's opinion I appreciate. I make a choice where I want to purchase my bread making machine. I need to check whether I have enough money to pay for the product. Do I have space on my countertop to place the machine? I might even want to have a true experience with the product before I place my order. In this phase the customer experience with your product and organization is crucial. Any bad experience with your product or organization might make me loose trust in you and switch to another product.

Questions: 
  • How many interactions did I have with you and have these interactions influenced my choise?  
  • How can you influence my choice?
  • How is my experience during my interaction with you? (happy, satisfied, annoyed, mad)

Customer's Step 4: Buy (AIDA: action)
When I am happy with my choice and satisfied with the customer experience of your organization, I will place the order. Ik the end you not only want me as your customer, but you also want me to be your advocate, i.e. promote your product among my friends. Now my customer experience really starts. The order procedure, payment procedure, notifications, shipment information, delivery experience, unpacking, first impression, handling, installation, user instructions, etc. These experiences set me up for my final user experience. 

Questions: 
  • How many interactions did I have with you and have these interactions influenced buy decision?  
  • How can you influence my buy decision?
  • How is my experience during my interaction with you? (happy, satisfied, annoyed, mad)

Customer's Step 5: Use (AIDA: satisfaction)
When the machine is installed, I am ready to use it. I will judge ease of use, energy use, sound level during operation and of course the end result, fuzz v.s the quality of the fresh bread. After a while I might need service, spare parts, upgrades or accessories, these experiences will determine whether I stay satisfied and will continue to promote your product or not. These experiences also determine whether I will become a returning customer or not.

Questions: 
  • How many interactions did I have with you and have these interactions influenced buy decision?  
  • How can you influence my satisfaction?
  • How is my experience during my interaction with you? (happy, satisfied, slightly disappointed, pissed off)

Make Customer Journey Map:
  • Map out the "journey" your customer makes from Need Discovery to Returning Customer;
  • Make sure you do this from your customer's perspective first;
  • Highlight the (possible) interactions with you, your name (reputation), your organisation or your product;
  • Determine the customer experience before, during and after these interactions (happy, satisfied, slightly disappointed, pissed off);
  • See how you can improve customer satisfaction during these interactions and focus on weak spots first. When you piss off your (potential) customer anywhere along the customer journey, you will lose your customer and an advocate for your product.
Customer Journey Map
Value Proposition
Customer Group (persona)
PhaseAwarenessDiscoverChooseBuyUse
Customer decisions
Possible interactions
Actual interactions
Customer experience
before interaction
during interaction
after interaction
Room for improvement

Good luck,
NdW dec 2016